Show of Force
Fringe of the Fringe Festival
By Beverly Cole
With Kierra Belgrave, Lilly McGuiness, Kristina Jimenez and Kaitlyn Read
Seminole State College
Lake Mary, FL
I’ve seen my share of war stories, and they all follow the predictable arc of idealism, shock, adaptation, and recovery. That arc is explicitly in place for this just-over-an-hour look at four women who volunteered for the Afghan war came out changed and damaged. Not physically, but emotionally. These volunteers are conceived as “Everywoman.” No names: the program lists them as Alpha, Beta, Charlie and Delta. Why “Beta” isn’t Bravo is mysterious; perhaps it’s typo or just a lack of familiarity with the phonetic alphabet.
Reason for going in are stock: a whim, escape from abuse, a dare gone bad, or just looking for a way into college. They start in the hyper masculine world of boot camp. Here each volunteer seeks out and finds a challenging acronym filled job. It might be EOD, it might be Wizzo, or it might be another acronym hiding the brutality of the assignment. The men are jerks, the women low on the totem pole, and the upper management….variable.
Next we follow our volunteers into battle, body parts fly and allies become enemies, and nothing is predicable or planed for. Its survival of those that survive. All our women, excuse me: FEMALES are the lucky ones, they return home but find it a place different than what they left. . The most heart breaking was the soldier who job it was to select, target and kill the enemy. Her mother can’t accept her daughter is now a trained profession killer, and they split apart.